Program and Location:
Summer, China: Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine; Shanghai, China
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (Small & Exotic Animal focus area)
Why did you choose to study abroad?
I wanted to learn more about traditional acupuncture techniques that are utilized in animals, as well as meet my girlfriend’s family and learn more about their culture/lifestyle in China.
What did you learn about yourself?
I learned that the way we learn in the United States is very different compared to how things are taught in China. I was glad to see how eager people were to exchange ideas and learn from each other. This course included veterinarians from all around the world, making it very interesting to compare/extrapolate ideas about our curriculum and experiences in this field.
What was one of your favorite parts of your program?
Making international connections with people that I would have likely never met had it not been for this program.
What advice do you have to future study abroad students?
Make sure to plan key locations you would like to visit with your friends that are traveling with you. Sometimes you won’t even have plans made, but I encourage you to just go out and explore. People are eager to share their stories with you and it’ll provide you with a better understanding of their culture and lives.
How did your study abroad experience prepare you for your future career?
This program reinforced the impact of teamwork in a professional setting. Veterinary medicine is a collaborative profession. No one should feel individualized or left out. This program solidified that idea for me. Even if you don’t speak the same language, you somehow still manage to get the job done as a team.
Were you surprised by anything during your time abroad?
I was pretty surprised by how inviting most people were. I’d encourage people thinking about studying abroad to not pay too much attention to stigmas regarding tourism. The grand majority of people were extremely inviting and wanted to talk to you about their lives/backgrounds. A street vendor even gave me some rice wine that had preserved scorpions in it. Honestly, it was pretty cool.
How were your classes abroad different than if you would have taken them at NC State? Did you take any field trips or do anything outside of the traditional classroom?
Having taken an acupuncture class at NC State before, I can say that the experience is completely different. We go to NC State every day and there’s not many new things to explore once you’ve been here for a while. We went on several out of class activities, such as local parks/canals, a boat tour down the Huangpu river, and several street markets. The experience was amazing and definitely out of the ordinary!
Where did you find support to navigate any challenges you faced abroad?
My girlfriend is fluent in Chinese, which made things a lot easier. She was able to translate conversations and show me around the locations we visited. I think that having someone you can rely on during a trip abroad is very helpful. Even if they don’t speak the native language, having a buddy with you makes challenges such as transportation easier to face!
Would you do it again?
- College of Veterinary Medicine